Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When passing by the rice, noodles, vegetables and meat section, Shen Jize stuffed a lot more ingredients into the cart, and by the time they walked out of the supermarket, both of them were carrying big bulging bags in their hands.
Shen Jize asked Lu Rong, “Is it heavy? Wait for me here, while I bring the car over.”
Lu Rong just wanted to say it was heavy, when he suddenly remembered his bodyguard identity, and quickly denied, “Not heavy, I’m not a child. You think I can’t carry these?”
Shen Jize narrowed his eyes and sized him up from head to toe, then suddenly took out his cell phone and pressed it a few times.
Lu Rong’s cell phone started to ring “Who’s looking for me? Who’s looking for me, the cute little baby?”
Shen Jize waved the phone at him, meaning you have the ringtone of a child.
Lu Rong hurriedly took out his phone and hung up, explaining to Shen Jize, “I didn’t set this ringtone, it was set for me by a female student in my class.”
Without thinking about this sentence, Shen Jize’s face, which was originally full of banter, slowly sank down, before he turned towards the direction of the house.
He was tall and long-legged, carrying the two large bags of things without difficulty, and walked with rapid steps. Lu Rong jogged behind him, the bags rustling in his hands, and he had a hard time keeping up.
When he saw that Shen Jize seemed to be unhappy, Lu Rong just thought he didn’t like his cell phone ringtone and quickly said, “If you don’t like my ringtone, I’ll change it when I get back.”
Shen Jize did pause slightly, and his pace slowed down.
Lu Rong hurriedly walked alongside him and smiled at him with narrowed eyes.
“You’re willing to change it?” Shen Jize glanced at him.
Lu Rong thought to himself, ‘What’s a ringtone worth? I can change it anytime.’ But he said sweetly, “As long as you aren’t satisfied, I will change the ringtone.”
Shen Jize stopped in his tracks and took a hand to shake the soft flesh on his face, “Sweet talker.” But his face was much better.
The two walked to the car, put the bag in the back seat, then Shen Jize started the vehicle.
Lu Rong sat in the passenger seat, watching the flowers and trees flash by on both sides, and heard him suddenly say, “You’ve been like this since you were a kid, sweet talking at the drop of a hat.”
“What? My words are all true.” Lu Rong knew he was referring to what he said at the supermarket, “Every single one of them could have been said in front of the Bodhisattva at the Longquan Mountain Temple.”
When Shen Jize heard him say ‘Bodhisattva at the Longquan Mountain Temple’, he immediately remembered how the two of them worshipped, his face turned softer, and he also smiled.
“Then what’s the matter with your cell phone ringtone? Why was it set for you by a female student in your class? Is your relationship particularly good? People actually have your cell phone password.” He pretended to ask off-handedly.
Lu Rong pulled out his phone, pulled over Shen Jize’s hand on the steering wheel and pressed on top of the unlock button, the phone screen suddenly lit up and the lock was unlocked.
“See, the lock on my phone is broken, anyone can unlock it.” Lu Rong put the phone away again and said, “I don’t even know when my classmate took it and set this ringtone for me.”
“Oh.” Shen Jize didn’t say anything else, just tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.
Lu Rong muttered, “But I have to change the ringtone, it’s too awkward.”
Shen Jize glanced at him with a smile and said, “I think this ringtone is quite appropriate, except that the phone should be changed.”
Lu Rong: ????
Back downstairs, they parked the car, the two of them grabbed the bags and walked to the elevator, when Shen Jize said, “Come here, hold out your hand. I’ll put your fingerprints in.”
Lu Rong put down the bag, obediently held out his hand, registered his fingerprints and entered the elevator. Lu Rong stared at Shen Jize’s reflection on the elevator door and whispered, “You just said you wanted me to think it over. I’ve already thought about it.”
Shen Jize looked straight ahead, as if he hadn’t heard.
“You have to give a deadline, right? I can’t just constantly keep thinking about it like this.” Lu Rong pouted and muttered.
Shen Jize remained silent, only swapping hands between the two bags.
Lu Rong moved closer to him, and when he wanted to put his head on Shen Jize’s shoulder, he noticed that he was looking at him askance, so he took a step back with a deflated mouth. He asked in a low voice, “Have you heard the story of Qin Xianglian and Chen Shimei?”
The elevator dinged to a halt and Shen Jize took the first step out, followed by Lu Rong, “Have you heard the story of Qin Xianglian and Chen Shimei? It’s the story of a man who went looking for his wife and he disowned her.”
Shen Jize put the bag on the ground and took the bag from Lu Rong, glanced at him, and said indifferently, “There’s a lot of drama.” He bent down and took out the slippers from the shoe cabinet, squatted down and put them by Lu Rong’s feet, “Change your shoes.”
Lu Rong looked at the slippers and went to pull the bag beside him, “I just put a pair of slippers like yours in the cart. I want to wear that pair.”
“Then go find them.” Shen Jize took the rest of the bags indoors, put them on the table and turned towards the bathroom, “I’m all sweaty. I need to take a shower first, it’ll be quick.”
“Okay.” Lu Rong buried his head in the bag while rummaging for the slippers, only answering with that.
Shen Jize took off his clothes and walked under the shower, tilting his head back and letting the soft water pour over his face and slide down the smooth lines of his muscles. He squeezed a dollop of shampoo on his head and just rubbed it into a lather when he heard the sudden banging of gongs, drums, and cymbals at the door, followed by a melody from an erhu 1 .
Shen Jize stopped moving for a moment and was about to ask Lu Rong if he was at the door when he heard a gentle female voice babbling, “I’ve been with my husband, Chen Shimei, since I was a child, and we have made love in our bedroom…” 2
Lu Rong leaned against the bathroom door with his cell phone, which played a clip of the Peking Opera “The Beautiful Guillotine” he had just searched. 3
“I remember when you went to the examination, and I cried my heart out. A thousand words, a thousand appeals, high officials and do not abandon the chaff…”
“Brother, have you heard of this? It’s also on TV.” He asked the bathroom door.
Shen Jize ignored him and continued to wash his hair under the shower.
“How was it? Was it good?” Lu Rong turned around and gently knocked on the door with his fingers.
Shen Jize began to rinse, still not making a sound, only silently smiling.
Hearing the sound of water in the bathroom again, Lu Rong didn’t get a response and didn’t get angry, just stood patiently with the phone next to the door, and occasionally hummed along with a couple of lines.
A few moments later, the sound of water stopped, the bathroom door was pulled open, and steaming hot air came out.
Shen Jize was only loosely dressed in a bathrobe, his chest wide open, and water beads rolled down on his firm muscles. His wet hair was hanging down, as he was standing expressionlessly in the doorway looking at him. Lu Rong was busy turning off his cell phone, the miserable, mournful female voice disappeared, and the room was instantly quiet again.
“If you have nothing to do, go prepare dinner. What are you doing standing here?” Shen Jize looked at him with downcast eyes.
Lu Rong shook the phone, his eyes fixed on him, “Brother, was that Beijing opera good just now? My grandfather used to listen to it.”
Shen Jize said indifferently, “Not good. Never heard of it. Go and cook.”
Lu Rong had to walk towards the kitchen, so he brushed past him and then turned back and said, “Brother, I’ll tell you, that Chen Shimei was guillotined in the end.”
He still had a sweet smile on his face, as Shen Jize stretched out his hand and turned his head back with a cold face.
The two of them began to clean up the large bags of things they had bought, and Shen Jize put the daily necessities in each of the two bedrooms, while Lu Rong took the rest to the kitchen and put it away in separate categories. After the ingredients were put in the refrigerator and the spices in the spice rack, he stood at the kitchen door and looked out.
Shen Jize was sitting on the balcony reading a script again, leaning back in his recliner with his legs crossed, obviously waiting for dinner, so he had to retreat to the kitchen and start cooking.
He unpacked the new apron and pulled out the fabric inside, shaking it to find that it was actually a pink and blue fabric with a large pocket in the middle and a ruffle around the edges. The apron was chosen by Shen Jize, and Lu Rong had no choice but to tie it on, although he thought it was a bit odd.
“Rong Rong, I want to have fried tea tree mushrooms with bacon, and rice with Chinese sausage, and a soup, just tomato and egg soup. A simple dinner.”
Shen Jize’s voice came from the balcony.
Lu Rong went to the storage room and took a strip of bacon, put it under the faucet and scrubbed it carefully, then washed it many times and put it on the chopping board.
Where’s the kitchen knife? Where is it?
He looked around and finally found the kitchen knife on the side of the table that had not been removed from the protective film.
He pressed the bacon with his left hand, raised the knife awkwardly with his right, and was about to drop it when his wrist was grabbed and a hand took it away.
Shen Jize stood next to him, squinting slightly and sizing him up from head to toe, the corner of his mouth hooked unnoticed and said, “The apron matches.”
Before Lu Rong could say anything, he continued, “You don’t even know how to cut a vegetable, this knife will flood the kitchen with blood. I haven’t even fired up the kitchen yet, so you’ll be the sacrifice in this ceremony.”
Lu Rong took this opportunity to move to the door and prepare to go out.
“Don’t go.” Shen Jize looked like he had eyes behind his back, “Just stay here and watch.”
Lu Rong had to stop.
“Come here, stand next to me.”
He obediently stood next to Shen Jize again.
Shen Jize set up a pot and boiled water, put the bacon cut into three pieces, then poured rice and cooked it, sprinkling a layer of diced sausage on it. When the water boiled, he took a small handful of tea tree mushrooms and started peeling tomatoes.
Lu Rong looked at his skillful movements with some respect and couldn’t help but ask, “When did you learn how to cook?”
Shen Jize uncovered the pot and turned over the bacon cooking inside, “I lived by myself after I graduated from high school, so naturally I learned how to do it.”
“You’re really good, Brother.” Lu Rong’s eyes were full of admiration, “I will learn to cook as soon as possible.”
“It’s not bad, it’s just average.”
Lu Rong saw that he had changed out of his bathrobe and was wearing a loose housecoat, so he took off his apron and tried to tie it on for him.
Shen Jize was cracking eggs, Lu Rong took the apron and put it around his waist, he glanced at the pink and blue out of the corner of his eye and froze for a moment before dodging, “No, I don’t need to wear an apron.”
He was so obvious that Lu Rong thought he didn’t want to be touched, his eyes dimmed and he slowly withdrew his hand.
Shen Jize saw the look on his face, and while stirring the eggs with the egg whisk, he explained, “I’m just not used to wearing an apron.”
Lu Rong raised his eyes slightly and muttered, “You’re lying, you just don’t want me to touch you.”
Shen Jize’s hands didn’t stop, as he continued to say, “You don’t even believe your brother’s words anymore.”
“I just don’t believe it.” Lu Rong looked at him askance, “Or you let me touch you?”
When he saw that Shen Jize didn’t object, he raised his hand and slowly reached over while observing Shen Jize’s expression. Lu Rong’s eyes were fixed on him, and his arm jerked forward and touched him.
Shen Jize shuddered and flashed to the side, nearly knocking over the bowl in his hand.
“Look! I just touched you, and this is how you react!” Lu Rong shouted aggressively.
Shen Jize turned his head and hissed, “It’s a reflex! How can you just jab someone’s armpit? Why don’t you let me try?”
Lu Rong pouted, “Then let me do it again, I’ll try somewhere else.”
Shen Jize poured the egg mixture into the pan and said, “Leave, just go outside and stay out of my way.”
Lu Rong said unhappily, “You told me to stand here.”
“I regret it.”
Lu Rong walked slowly out of the kitchen and then stopped when he reached the door. He suddenly turned around and rushed up to Shen Jize, quickly wrapped his arms around his neck and kissed him hard on the shoulder before he had time to react.
The kiss was so hasty that he caught his teeth on his lip. Lu Rong didn’t care about the pain, as he turned around and rushed out, his slippers snapping all the way to the balcony.
Shen Jize’s spatula almost fell to the ground, struggling to catch it. He continued to fry with a stern face, scrambled the eggs a few times, and then laughed silently.
At dinner, Lu Rong ate much slower and didn’t drink the soup Shen Jize served him.
“Is the food not to your taste? Or are you not hungry?” Shen Jize asked.
“Delicious, very delicious.” Lu Rong hurriedly took a big bite of rice into his mouth, but then grinned and hissed in pain.
“Nothing, it’s just that the skin on the inside of my lip is broken and it hurts a little.” Lu Rong stammered.
Shen Jize put down his chopsticks and walked over to him, lifted his chin and said, “Open your mouth, let me see.”
Lu Rong swallowed the food in his mouth before opening his mouth.
Shen Jize looked at the bright red cut on the inside of his lower lip, frowned and asked, “Why did you accidentally bite your mouth?”
Lu Rong blinked his watery eyes at him, but didn’t answer, and his face gradually flushed a layer of pink.
Shen Jize looked at him like he wanted to say something, but he froze, then he reacted and hurriedly let go of his hand and went to the living room, “I’ll go find some medicine for you.”
After taking the medicine and eating dinner, Lu Rong took the initiative to wash the dishes and came out to see Shen Jize sitting on the sofa reading a script in a room of light. Since he had left home for the capital, he had been videoing Grandpa Cai every night, reporting his safety and getting pampered. When he saw that Shen Jize was concentrating on the script, he took the phone and went into his bedroom.
When the video came on, Grandpa Cai’s face appeared in the camera.
Grandpa Cai first smiled and examined Lu Rong, saying that he had lost weight again, then realized that the background had become different, “Rong Rong, where are you? Not at Li Song’s house?”
The background was no longer a single bed head and half a wooden window, but a very classy leather sofa back and high-grade wallpaper. Grandpa Cai even may not recognise the goods, but he also noticed that this was much more luxurious than Li Song’s house.
Lu Rong smiled mysteriously, “Grandpa, guess.”
“You’re a brat, grandpa can’t guess.”
Lu Rong clamped his phone on the arm of the sofa, lying on his back, and said with a smile, “I’m at my brother’s house.”
“Brother…” Grandpa Cai knew that if Lu Rong called someone his brother, he would bring a name in front of it, such as Li Song, which was Brother Song. And the word ‘brother’ alone could never be anything but Shen Jize.
“Rong Rong, you met Xiao Ze?” Grandpa Cai was surprised and happy.
He knew Lu Rong and Shen Jize’s separation was sad, and he had heartbrokenly looked around to inquire about Shen Yan and regretfully couldn’t find the two of them.
Lu Rong pursed his lips and nodded, his eyes narrowed with a smile, “Grandpa, Brother asked me to bring you here to play.”
Grandpa Cai waved his hand, “Then don’t delay your work, we can talk about it later if you want to play.”
“I won’t be delayed, Grandpa, come on.” Lu Rong began to pout, “Come on, come on, I’ll pick you up.”
“Yes, Grandpa, we won’t be delayed, Rong Rong and I can accompany you.” Shen Jize’s voice suddenly appeared in the room, startling Lu Rong.
Shen Jize also came up to the phone and greeted Grandpa Cai and the dog across the room. Lu Rong hurriedly moved inside the sofa on his stomach and Shen Jize sat down on the side.
Grandpa Cai asked Shen Jize how he was doing and nodded in surprise when he found out he was making a movie.
Lu Rong introduced him to An, a big movie star equivalent to XXX. 4
XXX was a veteran actor who carried a lot of weight in Grandpa Cai’s heart, and Lu Rong could only use him to describe Shen Jize’s current achievements. Grandpa Cai was even more shocked, praising Shen Jize and telling Lu Rong to be obedient so as not to get him into trouble.
“I know those movie stars must be careful not to be caught in the wrong. Rong Rong you don’t want to cause trouble for your brother.”
“I know.” Lu Rong solemnly promised.
After hanging up the video, the time was already late, Shen Jize patted the back of his head, “Go to bed early, we have to go to the office together tomorrow.”
“Okay.” Lu Rong rolled over on the sofa cushion, his eyes fixed on Shen Jize.
“Let me see if your mouth got better after the medicine.” Shen Jize reached up and pulled his lower lip.
The room was quiet, the orange light shining on both of them, and Shen Jize examined Lu Rong’s lip carefully, frowning slightly. The broken skin was darker than the rest, but with a dusting of powder, it looked better than it did at first. He sighed with relief and was about to let go when he met Lu Rong’s eyes.
Lu Rong tilted his head, close to him, with big eyes staring intently at him, thick eyelashes fluttering, with undisguised attachment in his eyes.
“Brother…” He called out in a small voice.
Shen Jize kept his grip on Lu Rong’s chin and stared at him for two seconds before releasing his hand and saying in a hoarse voice, “Go to bed early, don’t play, you have work tomorrow.”
After saying that, he straightened his back and left the room in big strides. Lu Rong sat on the sofa with messy hair, staring at the door being closed, pursing his lips.
There was a violent bang in the passage, as if something heavy had hit the floor.
“What’s wrong?” Lu Rong abruptly straightened up and prepared to go out to see.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” Shen Jize woefully picked up the indoor potted plant stand that had knocked over next to him, but his foot slipped and he almost stumbled again, “Just knocked something over, it’s fine.”
- Chen Shimei is a Chinese opera character and a byword in China for a heartless and unfaithful man. He was married to Qin Xianglian, also translated as Fragrant Lotus. Chen Shimei betrayed Qin Xianglian by marrying another woman, and tried to kill her to cover up his past.
- Here is the original song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1BhZYBhYgw
Here is a Chinese/English Remix of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIMVapYJJM4
- Ah, yes, the famous actor XXX. This was how the author wrote it lol.